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Old 06-07-2023, 09:35 AM   #1
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Inverter still necessary on shore or genny power?

Had a spirited discussion on this subject with a guy on FaceBook. I maintain that the inverter serves no real purpose, if youíre on shore or genny power ó except maybe as an emergency way to continue powering AC outlets and appliances in the event of a complete loss of shore or genny power.

He says you should keep it on 24/7, to power devices that run off your batteries and to charge your batteries.

Need an expert to weigh in on this.
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Old 06-07-2023, 10:01 AM   #2
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Same discussion came up on this thread: https://www.irv2.com/forums/f84/inve...er-608653.html, which may be of interest.
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Old 06-07-2023, 10:04 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mbrusko View Post
Had a spirited discussion on this subject with a guy on FaceBook. I maintain that the inverter serves no real purpose, if you’re on shore or genny power — except maybe as an emergency way to continue powering AC outlets and appliances in the event of a complete loss of shore or genny power.

He says you should keep it on 24/7, to power devices that run off your batteries and to charge your batteries.

Need an expert to weigh in on this.
I'm no expert but from what I've seen and what I know I think you are correct. Many people confuse the inverter with the converter. The inverter does not charge your batteries, it takes power from them. On shore power your inverter outlets get powered from shore power, at least on every rig I've seen, and you don't need the inverter. I switched my inverter off a couple weeks after buying my rig after discovering it was taking down my batteries while parked without shore power, and I've never turned it back on to this day. I've dry camped without it, we don't need to watch TV while dry camping and everything else still works except the AC and microwave which my inverter wouldn't power anyway..
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Old 06-07-2023, 10:06 AM   #4
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The inverter/charger is in line with some 120 volt circuits.

When on shore or generator power, those circuits pass thru ( bypass ) the inverter section but the charger section stays on to keep your batteries charged. The batteries still power 12 volt things like pumps, fans and lights.

When Shore or generator is off, the pass thru switchs to inverter and it powers the circuits automaticly .
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Old 06-07-2023, 10:18 AM   #5
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On my rig, the inverter function is not necessary at any time. It is a nice to have feature.

However my unit is an Inverter/Charger (Freedom 25)

The battery charger feature is turned on almost continuously so it is probably in the necessary status.
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Old 06-07-2023, 04:26 PM   #6
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With a quality inverter/charger there is only one transformer. It can invert one way and convert the other. It cannot do both at the same time. Nothing wrong with leaving the charger on continuously and turn on the inverter if needed. When it's inverting it's not charging so no need to turn off the charger. I shut the charger off only if something unusual is happening with the voltage. Or if needed to work on things.
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Old 06-07-2023, 04:43 PM   #7
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It depends.

On RVs with energy management, if you exceed shore power limits, such as a 50 amp RV on a 30 amp plug in, the EM system may trigger the inverter to pull power from the batteries to make up a deficit if you are already at 30 amps draw and you add an additional load. At least that what I've observed on my coach.
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Old 06-07-2023, 06:10 PM   #8
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Class A Power Grid Chart

This visual may help you...

Inside most RV inverters is a Pass Through Switch that give priority to your incoming shore power. I think of it as an ATS-Like-Swtich.

When on shore power you you see your inverter go in to "standby" mode ready to take the place of shore power... on L1 only if you have 50A service with L1 & L2 coming into your RV. And the charger inside your RV Inverter/Charger will come on unless you turn it off.

No one needs an inverter, but you do need 12V for all your 12V accessories. Converters provide this and I'm guessing this is what triggered the OP debate.

QUESTION: In RVs that don't come with a converter, where does the 12V power come from to bias the 12V circuit panel?
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Old 06-07-2023, 11:54 PM   #9
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I'm no expert but from what I've seen and what I know I think you are correct. Many people confuse the inverter with the converter. The inverter does not charge your batteries, it takes power from them. On shore power your inverter outlets get powered from shore power, at least on every rig I've seen, and you don't need the inverter. I switched my inverter off a couple weeks after buying my rig after discovering it was taking down my batteries while parked without shore power, and I've never turned it back on to this day. I've dry camped without it, we don't need to watch TV while dry camping and everything else still works except the AC and microwave which my inverter wouldn't power anyway..
Well Sir,
You're a bit off with that statement. Many, many RVs', especially the mid to higher end ones, came with and still come with an "Inverter/Charger". They have built in 12V charging systems and in many cases, they are stepped systems. They will hit hard when batteries are quite low. Then they start to level off when the batteries are starting to come up and then, they slow down in amps etc. for the next to final phase and finally, as in our case, they simmer way down to a maintenance charge of less than one amp.

Depending on what year/make/model/chassis/engine etc. a coach is, it can come with a CONVERTER or, it can come with an Inverter or even like stated, it can come with an Inverter/Charger. The OP needs to divulge which coach, which model, which chassis which INVERTER he has and what its specs are.

There is absolutely ZERO NEED to keep an inverter ON 24/7. One also needs to understand just how his/her inverter or inverter/charger works. You need to know if it or the coach, has been setup to charge not only the house batteries but also the chassis batteries. Early Winnes and Itasca diesels were not setup for the inverter/charger to charge the chassis batteries., So, that was remedied in late '05 and early '06 with what's called the Trik-L-Start.

Contrary to popular belief, the Trik-L-Start is NOT A CHARGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When it's wired into the system for both batteries correctly, it's prime job is to monitor the battery voltage between both banks of batteries. If it sees a .5V difference between the house batteries and the chassis batteries, it will then step into action. And it does so by simply SIPHONING OFF a maximum of 5 amps that are intended to for the house batteries and sends it to the chassis batteries. Again, it is NOT a charger.

It's bigger brother, the Amp-L-Start is also NOT A CHARGER! It does the same exact function as the smaller unit only it's max amperage it can siphon off the intended charge for the house batteries and send to the chassis batteries is 15 amps.
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Old 06-08-2023, 12:10 AM   #10
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There are inverters and there are inverter/chargers .

Check out the users manual for the unit your RV is equipped with .

If it's an inverter/charger , the only time you turn it off is when the RV is in storage without 120 volt power supply.
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Old 06-08-2023, 10:28 AM   #11
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The old Zantrax Inverter/Charger in my coach, (year 2000), has 2 buttons on the wall control, one for the inverter and one for the charger. When plugged into shore power, the charger will charge the batteries while the inverter is turned ON, but I believe the power to the coach is not being produced by the inverter but just passed through from the shore.
When I am parked at my sonsí home, I only have a 15amp plug in for shore power. Sometimes the Voltage dips low enough to be disconnected, that is when having the inverter always on has a benefit, It just transfers to the inverter power, not even noticeable.
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Old 06-08-2023, 10:44 AM   #12
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There are inverters and there are inverter/chargers .

Check out the users manual for the unit your RV is equipped with .

If it's an inverter/charger , the only time you turn it off is when the RV is in storage without 120 volt power supply.
I shut the inverter off 99.999 % of the time. I never really shut off the charger. Xantex 3012. If we have lightning, can get nasty around here, I unplug and go on the inverter, unless I need the ac's , then I fire the gen. My refer has it's own small inverter with a bypass. So you can ,and in my opinion should , shut off your inverter. Diodes , transistors etc all have a life span as to how many times they can switch. Diodes usually go bad from moisture however, common in welders sitting most of their lives. My bays are usually several degrees above the outside air mainly due to the heat from the charger and ats. So not too concerned about moisture.
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